The trombone should not really be considered a relatively unfamiliar instrument in Cuban music. After all the proximity of African-centric cultures between Havana and New Orleans is closer than you think. And like the ubiquitous trumpet, in both afro-Cuban music and Jazz, the trombone is literally not far behind on the bandstand and on record. This is why the claim made by trombonist Eduardo Sandoval that he is the rightful heir of the rein of the instrument that continued down to Juan Pablo Torres is entirely credible. But lineage is not merely a matter of instrumental lineage as this album, Caminos Abiertos shows; certainly in the case of Mr. Sandoval it is a matter of pure artistic ancestry.
Eduardo Sandoval has a feathery, sweet tone and often gushes like river water, rushing to keep its appointment with a tumbling sea. Mr. Sandoval is also a master of colour and bends and twists his timbre to broadcast his music almost as if imitating the harmonic confluence of the Cauto as it churns its way to where earthy translucence meets the aquamarine of the thrashing sea. “Despedida” is sensual, gleaming rhapsody magnificently wrought from the flaring bell of the Mr. Sandoval’s trombone. The dazzling glissandos tumble in gentle waves that break in the rumble of Rafael Aldama’s bass and the echoing thunder of Alain Ladrón de Guevara’s drums. And it bears mention that on the elegantly crafted balletic lines of “Danzón A Isabel” Mr. Sandoval is absolutely peerless.
But lest it seem that all is liquid silk, let it be said that Eduardo Sandoval can also let out an elemental roar and this too he does with élan on his portrait of El Tambor de Cuba, on “Rumbeando Con Chano” with Alain Ladrón de Guevara and David Hernández chipping in to also pay homage to the legendary Chano Pozo. The galaxy of stars also includes the magical Rolando Luna who has been creating a glorious revolution in both the classical and the Latin-Jazz worlds. Here he delights with dazzling runs and parabolic arpeggios that dapple the melody of “Cubano Soy”. The record’s delights also include “Vieja Luna” with its three-way conversation between the ravishing-voiced Beatrix Márquez, pianist Roger Rizo and the bitter-sweet moaning of Eduardo Sandoval’s trombone.
And just when you thought that the music couldn’t get any more entrancing Mr. Sandoval and his quartet dance their way through “Veinte Años” before bringing the music to a rollicking close with “Rumba De Cajón”, a timely reminder that the quiet flame of Eduardo Sandoval’s trombone certainly goes out in a crackling sunburst of music.
Track list – 1: Rumbeando Con Chano; 2: Afro En Casa; 3: Despedida; 4: Caminos Abiertos; 5: Danzón a Isabel; 6: Cubano Soy; 7: Vieja Luna; 8: Veinte Años; 9: Rumba De Cajón
Personnel – Eduardo Sandoval: trombone and arrangements; Róger Rizo: piano (1 – 5, 8); Rafael Aldama: bass (1 – 5, 8); Alain Ladrón de Guevara: drums (1 – 5, 8); David Hernández: percussion (1 -3, 5, 6); Guests: Beatrix Márquez: voice (7); Emilio Frías: voice (9); Michel Herrera: soprano saxophone (2) and tenor saxophone (3); Thommy Lowry: trumpet (6); Rolando Luna: piano (6); Alejandro Falcón: piano (7); Adonis Panter and Osain Del Monte: percussion and chorus (9)
Released – 2015
Label – EGREM
Runtime – 57:18